Marriage is always a ride. Always. There’s a good reason why we stand, love-struck, before an altar and say some things about sticking together in the face of every extreme possibility. But for those of us married to enneagram 7’s… well, it sure does seem like the actual word “extreme” should be used in there somewhere. Because it will be. Extreme. If God reveals something about himself in each of the numberings on the enneagram, then 7’s have the fun task of demonstrating His sense of adventure, His promise of life at its fullest measure. Half the time I’m laughing until I cry, and the other half of the time I’m just trying to figure out if he’s being serious about his most recent suggestions. After almost 15 years, I’m learning that he is.
For those of you thinking about marrying a 7… these are some things you should for sure know.
- “I have an Idea.” Is a phrase you should probably get comfortable with. If they walk in and say this (they will), imagine the greatest extreme of what they could possibly be thinking and then try to take it 2 steps beyond that. You may be close.
- Assume that they mean it. Because the previously mentioned “idea,” is more than likely going to happen. I can remember early on thinking most of these ideas were probably just him processing some stuff. But now I know better. Once when I was transitioning into a new job, I told him I’d have a week off before I started. He casually mentioned we should take a trip or something… I thought, “Huh, yeah. Maybe Kansas City, or we just head to see your parents in Des Moines.” He greeted me the next day with tickets to Cabo San Lucas.
- Plans are fluid. Once Brandon took a dude’s trip, and the day after their double fourteener, they went on what should have been a 2 hour hike. But they veered off the trail they originally planned on and got lost for another 8 hours. According to my brother (a 7 empathizer) “you’re only lost if you are trying to be found.” It was maybe one of his favorite trips. I plan to purchase a Garmin for his next trip. Not sure he’ll take it.
- Threats to plans are stressful. This may seem like a contradiction, but I promise it’s not. In the history of our relationship, I have never seen him come undone like I have when an experience is threatened. When we were up at 4am, moderately lost and trying to find the trailhead to Mount Quandry, I thought he was going to have an anxiety attack. All the swerving around sharp turns and shifting gears in tricky terrain probably set us up for the transmission failure you’ll hear about soon. I’m NEVER the calmer of us two, but that taste felt amazing. He also cries a little when people get Baptized, but those are the only emotional triggers I can think of.
- Go ahead and learn how to spell entrepreneur. (I don’t know why this is so hard.) While not all seven’s are extraverted, they sure are inventive. Buckle up, you’ll probably (totally) play a part.
- They can keep things light. For those of you who tend to linger in the deeps of life, a seven will either irritate you or keep you from drowning. Even when they talk about significant things, they probably aren’t crying. Or if they are, they’ll wipe their eyes and do something about it… probably tomorrow. I happen to be an enneagram 4. I’m VERY comfortable with a broad range of feelings and can get so deep for so long, I need someone to pull me out. He’ll do it with a smile. He’s the only one in the world who could make me laugh during active labor with our third, and he needs me in order not to be an emotional cripple. I still can’t find a movie that’ll make him cry, meanwhile, I can hardly read a history book to my kids without weeping through it.
- Freedom Givers — Since 7’s aren’t typically led by their feelings, they can say and do things nobody else can. If I were going to be fired, I would want it to be by a 7. I’ve also learned to use the phrase “babe, give me a day,” because #capacity. But he’s also a huge proponent of other people’s dreams. My boys cliff jumped because he took their pitch seriously. He built this website because I love to write. He climbed a 14er with our four year old strapped to his back, and if you need him… he’ll show up. Unless of course, he’s lost in the woods on a hike.
Maybe someday if I ever get that chance, I’ll tell you all about the horse he had in his garage, the boat he bought when he turned 16, and the time he accidentally lit himself on fire. You guys… the stories are endless…